The purpose of a Pap smear is to collect cells from your cervix, which is the lower end of your uterus. The cells collected in a Pap smear can detect if you have cervical cancer or suspicious cells that indicate you may develop cervical cancer.
The main purpose of screening with the Pap test is to detect abnormal cells that may develop into cancer if left untreated. The Pap test can also find noncancerous conditions, such as infections and inflammation. It can also find cancer cells.